McDowell and Swamidass: The Proper Relationship Between Science and Theology

MCDOWELL: What do you see as the proper relationship between theology and science?

SWAMIDASS: I understand science as a conversation among scientists. Theology is a conversation among theologians, but it is also a conversation in the Church.

The proper relationship between theology and science is dialogue, a meaningful exchange between two communities with different ways of understanding the world. Each community, theological and scientific, has its own legitimacy and autonomy. Good conversations are shaped by constructive resistance, not capitulation. Dialogue includes an exchange of good-faith questions. Whether they come from theology or science, questions should be taken seriously, answered with honesty, rigor, and empathy.

What should the Church expect to gain from dialogue? A coherent theological voice could rise, making sense of everything together. Even in a scientific world, we could understand, and we could be understood.

I’m humbled and honored that Sean endorsed my book.

β€œThe Genealogical Adam and Eve is a meticulously researched, fascinating, and timely book. I am personally grateful to Dr. Swamidass for his honest and thoughtful approach to the question of the historical Adam. Whether we agree or disagree with him on evolution or Adam and Eve, everyone can deeply appreciate the spirit in which he writes this book. It is a model for how to approach hard questions at the intersection of science and faith. May this book get the wide readership it deserves.”

β€”Sean McDowell, Professor of Apologetics, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University